Nearshore Outsourcing Gets Agile Work Right

Written by Mauricio Lopez

Not Just Efficiency: 3 Things Nearshore Outsourcing Gets Right with Agile Work

Where agile work is concerned, being a nearshore dispersed team is an asset, not a challenge.

In the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development,” the authors state that agile work should value “individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” So how does it work to have your agile workforce be a nearshore outsourced team? Won’t the distance and language barriers get in the way of the collaboration and change-responsiveness that defines the agile working style?

Simply put: not at all. Since agile work took the development industry by storm, nearshore outsourcing teams have taken to agile like a fish to water—and there’s good reason. Unlike proximal teams, nearshore teams are uniquely suited to the dynamism and iterative processes that define agile development. In the following list, we break down 3 ways nearshore outsourcing gets agile right.

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Broadened Perspective = More dynamic collaboration

Nearshore and outsourced teams are dispersed, which means they aren’t restricted by face-to-face dynamics, social politics, and cultural groupthink to the same degree that in person teams are. Remember, we are all a product of our environment, and that environment—for most of us—means living in the same town, riding the same freeway or subway car to work, and eating at the same restaurants or office canteen for lunch.

Our nearshore team, however, sees a different view from their office window. And though they may know the ins-and-outs of the software you’re using, will have a fluency in the procedures and protocols essential to your workflow, they are primed to bring fresh, new, and different ideas to the table if only because their life experience is so different from that of your local team.

If you value dynamic collaboration, you should think through who you are collaborating with. Do they all look like you? Eat like you? Live near you? Speak like you? If so, that collaboration might be limited. Remember: disruption is a key component of innovation. Just ask Reed Hastings or Garret Camp.

Diversity of Culture = Diversity of Thought

Similar, but subtly different: when your nearshore or offshore team looks at a problem, they are likely looking at it not only from a different perspective, but also in a different language, and therefore in a completely different way.

If they’re one of Jobsity’s team of South American programmers, they’ll bring the perspective of the world’s 400 million Spanish speakers. In other words, 400 million potential customers—the main ingredient in agile’s quest for prioritizing “customer collaboration over contract negotiation.” And don’t think that’s just a surface level issue: according to Whorf language theory, “language is more than just a communication tool – it determines our perception of reality and influences our behavior.”

So your nearshore agile team isn’t just working with a diversity of thought, they’re perceiving your product in a different reality. Not sure how people different than you will understand, interact with, and/or use your product? Ask your nearshore outsourcing team.

Shifted Time Zone = Natural Iterative Relay

Want to get a fresh perspective on your recent project? Take a break and come back to it later. At least that’s the old idea. And yes, it might mean losing time—a scary thought if a deadline looms.

Now, however, another option exists: clock off and let your nearshore agile team take a look. In other words, when you’re at happy hour, your nearshore team might be in the midst of their workday, and when you’re back in the morning, they might be fast asleep. But rather than seeing this as misalignment, or inefficiency, see it as a chance to take a break while your product is still being developed.

A nearshore team can be an ideal relay partner for design work because their similar, but not identical, time zone means proximate but not identical working hours. You can be sleeping, or eating, or watching Netflix in bed, but iteration and innovation of your development project does not take a break.

It’s an often overlooked aspect of working with a nearshore outsourcing agile team, and it cuts right to the heart of what makes agile work so powerful: collaboration, interaction, and responding to change.

So maybe it’s time for you to change your team structure, and explore nearshore outsourcing?

If your project is ready to scale beyond your office, there is a Jobsity distributed nearshore software team ready to help you. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your project.

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Written by Mauricio Lopez

Mauricio has been at the forefront of technology for +15 years. He is constantly integrating new technologies including frameworks, CMS, and standard industry models. He is a pragmatic problem-solver and customizes solutions based on the best schema/language/application for each project. As the CTO at Jobsity, he ensures that his team is always up to date with the latest advances in software development by researching the software ecosystem, implementing professional development initiatives, and coordinating with new and existing clients about their needs.